Max Fried made a statement in his return from the injured list by tossing five scoreless frames against the San Diego Padres last night in the Atlanta Braves’ 2-0 win. Now Atlanta will send out another ace tonight when Spencer Strider (1-0, 3.38 ERA) takes the mound against San Diego lefty Blake Snell (0-2, 6.92) in the second game of the three-game series between the two teams. First pitch is scheduled for 9:40 p.m. ET from Petco Park.
The Braves are -130 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, while the Padres are +110 favorites. The total sits at 7.5.
Braves-Padres picks: Tuesday, April 18th
Out: OF Michael Harris II (lower back soreness), RP Raisel Iglesias (right shoulder soreness), RP Collin McHugh (right shoulder discomfort), RP Lucas Luetge (left biceps inflammation), SS Orlando Arcia (microfracture in left wrist)
Out: C Luis Campusano (left thumb sprain), SP Joe Musgrove (fractured left big toe), RP Drew Pomeranz (flexor tendon surgery), OF Adam Engel (left hamstring strain), OF David Dahl (right quad strain), RP Robert Suarez (right elbow inflammation)
Spender Strider vs. Blake Snell
Strider has gotten off to a fast start to the season, and currently boasts an otherworldly 40.9 strikeout rate, which is among the best in the league. That said, Strider hasn’t been able to give the Braves a ton of length, as he’s only been able to go five innings in his last two starts — thanks in large part to a high pitch count caused by all those Ks. A primarily two-pitch pitcher, batters are hitting .229 off his fastball and .118 off his slider. He’s thrown his changeup 15 times (all to left-handers), and has yet to allow a hit against the pitch.
Snell has been off to an alarmingly slow start to the season for the Padres, and is currently on pace for career lows in expected batting average (.299), walk rate (15.2%) and hard hit rate (45%). While he’s only allowed one hit on his slider and curveball this season, batters are teeing off on Snell’s fastball (.421), which limits the effectiveness of his offspeed stuff.
I’m taking the over here, in large part because of the pitching matchup, as Snell allowed at least three runs in each of his three starts so far this year while Strider has allowed three runs in each of his last two outings. Even if the Braves bullpen has been good this year (they’re fourth in baseball with a 2.78 ERA), the Padres bullpen has been suspect (3.45 ERA as a unit), which could lead to some runs being tacked on at the end.
Pick: Over 7.5
Yesterday, Atlanta picked up a 2-0 win thanks an Austin Riley home run. Today’s game should feature a lot more offense, as I’m expecting the Braves to jump on Snell early.